100 South Crowder
Sullivan County first records a library president and seven trustees elected in 1821. The location of the library is unknown. Libraries were found though out the county for the next 80 years.
In 1899 the Woman's Club began a drive to establish a Carnegie Library in the city of Sullivan.
On January 15, 1903, Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 for the building of the Sullivan Library. On February 26, 1904, the contract was let and on June 11, 1904, the corner-stone was laid. On January 19, 1905, the library was dedicated and on January 30, 1905 the doors were opened to the public. There have been many changes and updates since then.
The first Library Board included John T. Hays, John S. Bays, George R. Dutton, Florence Higbee, Lulu T. Blue, Anna T. Erslinger and Rachel K. Harris who served as president.
During the first 50 years, five librarians were in charge. They included Julia Mason, June Deming, Nelle Aydelotte, Alice Burns and Emma Kennedy.
The golden anniversary of the library was celebrated January 29, 1955. The trustees and staff of the library hosted a children's party at the Sherman Theatre. The children were in grades 1-6 and had read 10 books to celebrate Book Week in November.
In the late 1960's small town libraries began to merge with Sullivan and the county system was completed by the mid 1970s. Branches are maintained at Carlisle, Dugger, Farmersburg, Merom and Shelburn. Our Outreach program includes the Hymera Library and several senior citizen facilities, and the local hospital.
In 1978 a new section was opened in the basement to house the Children's Library. It is a large, bright, open area with plenty of room for young readers. It is complete with books, magazines, puzzles, and computers for the young reader.
Purchase of an adjoining lot and house resulted in an Annex building used for processing, office space, kitchen area, and public meeting rooms.
In recent years the library has under gone major remodeling.
The most recent restoration was to the interior of the library. The first stage included re-wiring of the entire structure and plastering the walls. The floor was sagging and had to be replaced. The main book room under the dome was converted into a reading room, complete with fireplace and chairs. The addition was completed in 1994 approximately doubling the square footage of usable space.